You’re more likely to get crushed by asteroid than win $500M Powerball lottery jackpot

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Before you start thinking about what you'd do with $500 million, let's get serious: You're not going to win.

Your chances of hitting the jackpot and taking home the entire Powerball winnings are extremely small -- one in 175 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.

So too are the odds that you'll take home a smaller prize of $1 million (one in 5 million) or even $100 (one in 12,000). A financial educator came by the FOX 13 News Studio Wednesday to discuss the odds of winning compared to the value of investing, see the video above for her comments or click here for more information about educating yourself financially.

Still not convinced that your chances are slim?

Here's the math -- from real mathematicians:

"If you just want a positive expected rate of return, then our results ... say to avoid Mega Millions and Powerball," wrote two Emory University professors, Aaron Abrams and Skip Garibaldi.

Their 2010 paper "Finding Good Bets in the Lottery, and Why You Shouldn't Take Them" was published by The Mathematical Association of America.

It's more likely, for example, that you will die in a lightning strike (one in 136,000), or on board a plane (one in 8,000).

It's far more likely that you'll crushed by an asteroid that falls out of the sky (one in 700,000)

It's also more likely that a high school football player will play professionally (one in 1 million).

And it's far more likely that you'll be attacked by a shark (1 in 12 million).

There's nothing wrong with dreaming -- about quitting your job or that private island.

But chances are, you're not going to win.

The Powerball is jackpot is up to $500 million as of Wednesday morning.

The take-home cash value is estimated at about $337.8 million.

9 comments

  • Cig Bock

    Just spent my welfare check on lotto tickets. $600 dollars of your hard earned tax-dollars going down the drain! USA! USA! USA!

  • Robin

    son and I ran up to Evanston just got back at 4 there was no line whatsoever took us two and a half hours where the winners….so you don’t need to bother going up..

  • john

    How can you odds of being hit by an asteroid have better odds if people keep winning powerball but none that I know of are hit by asteroids?

      • Roz

        I was thinking the same thing, people win powerball from time to time but you never hear about ppl getting hit by asteroid…for the record that is how probabilities work for something to be “probable” it has to happen. While I don’t feel I have to know an asteroid victim…if it is more probable than powerball than I should’ve at least heard of a freak asteroid accident by now.

    • Lance

      It would be incredibly difficult to apply odds to being crushed by a meteorite. Fox news is being a bit sensational with their stats. Its been said that there is a 1:700,000 chance, but that number is based off of an entire lifetime. Still a stretch if you ask me. I’d put it somewhere in the tens of millions if not hundreds. A person has a 1:175M chance of winning the powerball lotto ON THURSDAY. If you were to calculate the odds of someone being crushed by a meteor on that same particular day, you would be approaching the 1:Billions I’m sure. Calculate how many meteors fall on land (on average) big enough to crush someone. Calculate the size of crushing meteor, the number of people in the united states and other Powerball territories, how much sq feet each individual takes up, and how many square feet total in all the land. Bet you don’t get 1:700,000.

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